Are vegetarians missing out on the greatest aspect of being alive? Many people enjoy eating an animal based diet every day. From chicken to steak to seafood, there is a great diversity of animal proteins that are available for consumption. Of course any diet that is enjoyed in excessive amounts can be problematic, but is there an advantage to eating an animal based diet? By evaluating the pros and cons of such a decision, it becomes possible to make this personal choice.
What Are the Pros of an Animal Based Diet?
1. There are high protein contents in many of the food products.
The body needs protein for survival at some point in time. That’s because proteins are used to help repair the cells and tissues in the body that get damaged over time. Proteins are also used as communication tools and can even help to spread oxygen around the body. Although protein can be obtained from plant sources, animal proteins are better absorbed by the digestive system.
2. Many animal proteins are highly affordable.
On a serving by serving basis, many animal proteins are more affordable to the average household than plant proteins happen to be. For $3, someone might be able to purchase a half-pound of legumes, but they could purchase several servings of a farm-raised fish like tilapia. Sustainable growing methods have increased productivity, which means affordable pricing thanks to the abundance of product.
3. They are extremely easy to make into different dishes.
Several recipes are available for animal proteins that just aren’t available for plant-based foods. Replicated foods certainly can simulate the sights and sounds of certain dishes, but is gumbo really the same thing if tofu is being used instead of crawfish? Or is it really a burger if it is made up from mashed black beans?
4. People have the ability to catch their own foods.
Whether it comes through hunting, fishing, or personal farming, there are a number of ways that people can create their own supply of foods when an animal based diet is being emphasized. The Earth has numerous natural resources that can even make it cost-effective to provide for oneself despite the different licenses and fees that may exist. With continued management of animal habitats, these are resources that can be used time and time again.
What Are the Cons of an Animal Based Diet?
1. Many animal proteins are high in fat content.
Eating a protein rich diet can be a good thing, but it can also be a very bad thing. Many animal products have a high fat content that can contribute to future health problems. This includes heart disease, blood pressure issues, and even insulin resistance. Of course this typically comes when animal proteins are enjoyed in excess, but when was the last time someone at a 3 ounce steak, which is the recommended serving size?
2. Animal proteins promote the production of uric acid.
Uric acid levels are typically regulated by the body pretty effectively, but not when it is consistently overwhelmed by incoming animal proteins. Over time, when there is too much uric acid, it can begin to crystallize within the body. When this happens, the crystals lodge in the joints and can create very painful inflammation for several days that is difficult to treat.
3. Many animal proteins cost more to produce than plant proteins.
It takes over 5,000 gallons of water to support just one beef cow being raised for slaughter. It takes a fraction of that amount of water to grow plants for consumption. For the same amount of water that just one serving of beef can provide, a person could legitimately grow their own grain and vegetables for up to 3 months. Think about that – 4 servings of beef could equate to the same water requirement as a year’s worth of plant-based foods.
4. Not every animal is raised in ethically ideal situations.
From being crammed into cages to being overfed to create heavier animals that bring more profit, bulk farming has created a number of ethical issues in an animal based diet that must be addressed. Certainly the animals will be killed one day for food, but that doesn’t give people the right to abuse these animals while they are alive. How we treat other creatures is a reflection of who we are, which means when we are what we eat, we’re not very good people sometimes.
The pros and cons of an animal based diet show that healthy eating can take on a number of different forms. As long as sustainability and ethically grown livestock are the focus of the diet, then the damage to the planet is limited. Add in dietary limitations to limit health risks and this diet could be very beneficial to those who enjoy it frequently.